|DISTRICT 15 LITTLE LEAGUE (MINORS): ATHENS TOPS SOUTHERN TIOGA, 14-4 — WINS DISTRICT TITLE (2017-07-09)
Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — Athens exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to close out 14-4 five-inning win over Southern Tioga and a perfect run through the District 15 Minors Division baseball playoffs here Sunday afternoon.
Athens was 2-0 in pool play, then went 3-0 in bracket play — winning its five games en route to the district title by an average of 12 runs. Its closest decision was a 9-0 win over Southern Tioga in the winner’s bracket finals.
On Sunday, Athens jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the home half of the first inning in a rally that featured a two-RBI double by Dylan Saxon, and a bases-loaded walk to Oliver Johnson to force home a run.
After Southern Tioga scored twice in the top of the fourth to trim the deficit to 4-2, Nick Grazul ripped an RBI double to give Athens a 5-2 lead.
Southern Tioga scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 5-4, but Athens plated nine runs in the bottom of the inning to end the game via the 10-run “mercy” rule.
Eli Hobday delivered the key blow in the rally, a two-RBI double, and Matthew stroked an RBI single. Athens also scored three runs on bases-loaded walks, and two more when batters were hit by pitches to force home runs.
Hobday stole home to end the game.
Grazul tripled and double, scored one run, and had two RBI in the win, while Driesbaugh singled twice, scored two runs, and drove in a run, and Jase Babcock singled twice, and scored three runs.
Saxon doubled, scored two runs, and had three RBI in the win, while Hobday doubled, scored a run, and had two RBI, Matthias Welles scored two runs and drove in a run, Johnson scored a run and had an RBI, Carson Rowe and Cooper Robinson each scored a run, and Riley Campbell drove in a run.
Rowe earned the win for Athens, allowing four runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings on the mound, while striking out seven and walking none. Grazul retired the only two batters he faced, striking out one.
Athens returns to action next week in the Section 3 playoffs.
IN PHOTO: The 2017 Athens Minors Division District 15 champions.